Here I am at Cousin Ted’s at 77th and 3rd in NYC, watching BBC news, feeling sad. Shortly after I landed here, I got word of the death of the Queen. She was 2 1/2 years younger than my mother, who grew up with her. My British grandparents adored her. Hard to believe we saw her tiny figure two days ago in her kilt, and so fast, she was gone.
Also just after landing at La Guardia, I turned on my email and got word that the long list for the CBC nonfiction competition was out. I’d entered an essay I wrote about my father’s death, one of the most meaningful events in my life. But my piece was not included in the 31 essays on the long list. And for once, I do not take this as a commentary on my talent as a writer, but on the judging in competitions. So what I say is: Phooey.
Today I saw a magnificent exhibit on Matisse’s Red Studio at MOMA, and one thing it showed is that he was disparaged by critics, often cruelly, early in his career. He just kept going and doing what he needed to do. I’m not comparing myself to Matisse, God knows. But the lesson is – keep going. At almost the same time, I received word my piece for the Globe’s First Person section will run Sept. 23. The editor wrote, “It’s a lovely tale.” She and I disagree about the Oxford comma, but that’s all.
Though I may not keep going in New York. I’m overwhelmed. It’s very hot, it’s so crowded, it’s so noisy, I walked all day and my feet hurt. Once again, in this madhouse, I see the end of humanity. Human beings are not going to give up consuming until there’s nothing left to consume.
I’ll buck up. More anon. There will be pictures.